Unplugged

June 11, 2011

Early tomorrow morning, we head for Miles of Music camp (rather than Laundry Camp, thank god) for a full week of strings-driven folk music.  We will sleep in a cabin with screens for walls, and with no electricity.  We will eat at communal tables rather than walking fast with a hotdog and a Starbuck’s venti latte on the way to somewhere else.  There are no showers or hairdryers, so my hair will look weird all week.  The forecast is for rain, which means we’ll have even more time than we had planned to remember what there is to do in the world without screens and internet access.

(Um, could somebody remind me what we used to do, before screens and internet access?  I seem somehow to have forgotten.)

The world will have to turn without the stunning insights on my Twitter feed, and the six regular readers of launawrites.com will have to get by without my insights.  If and when you suffer ill effects of withdrawl, just add it to the list of things that are my fault.

Simply stepping away from the laptop feels strange. I’m still adjusting to my decision, about a month ago, to stop calling myself a Stay at Home Mom and start calling myself a writer.  As a “writer,” I feel responsible to keep writing things.  What if I have a great idea this week, and I don’t have a way to type?  God, will I actually have to write it down?   If a writer writes, without instantly sending it out to someone, somewhere, to have it read, does that writing really exist?

This week, if a tree falls in the woods, I will be there to hear it.  I just won’t be able to get the instant gratification of checking my email and sending my newest ideas to the world.

This week, unplugged, I’ll have to stop thinking output, and accept and integrate whatever input comes my way.  All the singing I plan to do and hear will no doubt feed the deepest parts of my soul.  I hope that instead of checking my damn iPhone all the time, I will check into the slower rhythms of the natural world, and the more inscrutable ebbs and flows of actual human behavior.  If I want to find my way somewhere, I will not be able to punch in the address and let Google decide.

The kids will have no wii, only we.  No computer games, just an old Parcheesi board with lots of the pieces missing.  No online games of Bananagrams.  (Which reminds me:  gotta pack the Bananagrams.  And the Yahtzee.)

It’s not only sad, but also cliché to admit that part of me is anxious to be away from this silver MacBook, my portal to the world. But that’s exactly the part of me that remembers that there is more to life than what I find through these glass screens.  Time to go get mud in my shoes, and bugbites on my neck.  Time to be chilly and sweaty.  Time to sing without a mic, stretching for harmony with the other very human singers around me. Time to get in tune.  To unplug.

 

T. June 11, 2011 at 11:30 am

Enjoy! Sounds like a grand adventure. Where I live, mud on my shoes and bugs bite on my neck are a constant fact of life, but I am not immune to the joys of unplugging. I’ll miss your posts, but I suspect this week will give you a lot to write about. I’ve been scribbling away at a few pieces that touch on my own stay home mom v. writer identity crises. Looking forward to hearing more about yours when you return from the woods. Hope you have a great time. Safe travels.

Bugwump Magallisto June 15, 2011 at 8:44 am

Your fans need an update! Did whathisname ever set down his bass? Have the incessant mandolins and violins driven you to distraction? Have the kids tracked down and vanquished the Winnepesaukee Kraken? Our screens are bright and hungry!

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